UPDATE: The Schilling campaign told Illinois Review Monday morning that according to the same poll (below), Obama is leading Romney by only four points in the 17th CD, 48 to 44. Earlier this year, Obama was at 51 and Romney was at 41. Voters seem to be abandoning Obama, even in the drawn-for-Democrats 17th congressional district.
EAST MOLINE, IL - The Rock Island Argus and Moline Dispatch reported two previously undisclosed poll results for the Illinois 17th District on Sunday. A recent poll conducted by Public Opinion Strategies indicates that U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling (R-Colona) leads his Democrat opponent Cheri Bustos (D-East Moline) by a 50-37 margin. The Bustos campaign responded by releasing a February poll showing Schilling with a 44-35 edge over Bustos.
So far, three different poll results have been reported for the Illinois 17th District during this cycle. They are as follows:
Schilling 44, Bustos 35 (February 2012) — The Bustos campaign released this internal poll—conducted in February—during the weekend of August 18 in response to the latest Public Opinion Strategies poll released by the Schilling campaign. Bustos was nominated in early March.
Schilling 51, Bustos 35 (May 2012) — In May, the Schilling campaign released this poll, conducted by Public Opinion Strategies. This was the first publicly released poll of the cycle.
Schilling 50, Bustos 37 (August 2012) — The Rock Island Argus and Moline Dispatch reported this new poll result on Sunday. Public Opinion Strategies also conducted this poll.
The newly released polls give clear insight into the state of the race in the Illinois 17th District. Schilling has increased his lead and built momentum as the election grows closer. With just 44 percent of the vote in February, Schilling has increased his share of the vote to surpass the 50 percent threshold in two consecutive polls.
The Bustos campaign has conducted additional polls, according to their FEC reports, but has not released them. It remains unclear why the Bustos campaign is hiding these polls and why they went all the way back to February to find acceptable numbers to release.